Jordan Banjo reading a book with a food waste timer in the background

UK households could get 2.5 days a year back by making the most of the food that they buy

6 March 2023

 

  • UK householders could unlock a long weekend of free time a year – by embracing Food Waste Action Week’s ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ theme.
  • Jordan Banjo joins forces with Love Food Hate Waste to help households to reduce their food waste.
  • To mark this year’s week of action, Love Food Haste Waste is calling time on food waste by using a giant egg timer to bring to life the time people could get back by using up their uneaten food – saving them money as well.

To mark the third annual Food Waste Action Week, which launches today (6 March), new research from Love Food Hate Waste has revealed that time-strapped people could get back 2 ½ days a year by using up uneaten food[i]. This equates to treating ourselves to a weekend away with friends or family or having enough time to binge-watch a whole series of Love Island and still having ‘me’ time to go to the gym or out for a long walk!

According to a poll of 2,000 adults, the nation dedicates an average of five hours a week to preparing and cooking food, but a quarter (24%)[1] often feel they waste their time doing this when so much of it ends up in the bin. In fact, WRAP data suggests a whopping 25% of the food we cook ends up wasted because we ‘prepare, cook or serve too much’[2]. If given those hours back, people said they would spend the time reading (38%), enjoying well deserved ‘me time’ (35%) or with their family and friends (31%).

 

The poll also revealed that a whopping 80% of people feel guilty about throwing food away and 70% would be more likely to use their leftovers if they could turn them into something tasty. People also said they were using energy-efficient microwaves (78%), slow cookers (26%) and air fryers (23%) more often to save money. And with meals generally taking just seven minutes to re-heat on average, Love Food Hate Waste is calling on the nation to ‘Win. Don’t Bin.’

 

WRAP estimates 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten is wasted every year from our homes – worth around £14 billion (or £60 a month for an average family with children)[3]. Not only is this bad for the planet, but it also leaves a considerable dent in people’s pockets - with food inflation now running at over 16%[4]. Two-thirds (66%) of people who completed the poll noticed the cost of their food bill has gone up considerably in recent months, reporting price to be the most important factor for them when doing their food shopping.

 

So, to help get the nation to make the most of the food it buys, Love Food Hate Waste has teamed up with TV personality and champion of eating well on a budget, Jordan Banjo, to share easy kitchen hacks to make mouth-watering meals that will pay us back in time, cost - and taste.

Jordan Banjo said: “As a dad of two (with a third on the way) I can absolutely relate to not having enough hours in the day.

As much as I love cooking, it can be time consuming and Love Food Hate Waste has shown that it’s not just excess food going into the bin, but also people’s time and money! In fact, almost half of us say we spend more time cooking than we’d like to.

That’s why I am delighted to support Love Food Hate Waste on this year’s Food Waste Action Week and share advice that can help the nation to minimise food waste.

It’s probably fair to say that no-one enjoys throwing food away but luckily, it’s not difficult to re-purpose your uneaten food and get that little bit of life back to spend with your family doing something you love.”

To inspire the 87% of people who feel wasting food is a waste of money, Love Food Hate Waste’s top tips for easily and safely enjoying our food again with minimal effort include:

  • Store leftover portions safely. Cover and store in the fridge and use within two days.
  • Make your freezer your friend. You can safely freeze most leftovers; label and date them so you know what’s in there.
  • Defrost safely – defrost extra portions in the fridge or microwave and reheat until your food is piping hot.
  • Cook a little extra for the next day – who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Enjoy a quick, easy and tasty me-time meal, saving yourself all the preparation and cooking time!

 

Jackie Bailey, Love Food Hate Waste campaign manager, said: “In our busy lives, many of us wish we had more time. One simple way around this is to use up those extra portions we often seem to have; a simple solution that could help you get some life back and turn food we’ve already cooked into a second delicious meal!

For this year’s Food Waste Action Week, we’re encouraging the nation to follow ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ and highlighting the very real benefits that using up your uneaten food can have on your pockets, your personal time and the planet.

Even more importantly, at a time of rising food prices, tackling food waste at home is one way we can all make a difference - and help save money.”

Resources and Waste Minister Rebecca Pow said: “Every year UK households waste 4.5 million tonnes of food that could have been eaten. This costs the average family an astonishing £60 per month – a terrible waste of money - and has a massive environmental impact. The government has taken positive action on this issue and the amount of wasted food has fallen. However more needs to be done to tackle this critical issue, which is why I am supporting this year’s Food Waste Action Week. As a government we are committed to halving food waste by 2030, and we can all make a difference by taking simple steps at home to cut down how much food we throw away.”

Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity in Scotland said: “I am pleased to help promote Food Waste Action Week in Scotland and bring awareness to the ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ campaign. We can all make changes at an individual, household, business and community-level and ‘Win. Don’t Bin’ is one step we can take to reduce our food waste in Scotland. We know we need to take more steps to reduce our food waste and that is why the Scottish Government is collaborating with Zero Waste Scotland to make sure we are targeting key behaviours that will deliver results. We are working towards reducing our food waste by one third by 2025, and we are working towards a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.”

Julie James, Minister for Climate Change in Wales said: “Reducing food waste can have a big impact on our carbon emissions and help tackle climate change. We know the people of Wales want to continue their good work with Wales being the third best country in the World for recycling, and this campaign will help further this by highlighting and educating people how to reduce their food waste.”

In 2023 Love Food Hate Waste is, once more, working with partners around the globe to make this FWAW an international week of activities. Partners will be supporting the campaign from countries including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and USA. Love Food Hate Waste is grateful too for the support of some of the UK’s largest retailers and food brands who have provided sponsorship to help amplify the week: including Arla Foods, Danone, Kenwood, Lidl, Ocado, Panasonic UK and Tesco.

To find out more, and for Love Food Hate Waste’s easy hacks and serving suggestions visit: www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/fwaw.

 

Images and videos can be found here https://we.tl/t-OhRYfkokxx

 

ENDS

 

[1] All statistics, unless otherwise referenced, taken from nationally representative OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults undertaken on behalf of WRAP, 15-17 February 2023.

[4] CPIH annual and monthly inflation rates January 2023. ONS.gov.uk

 

[i] 2.5 days saving calculated as follows:

Average minutes spent cooking/preparing food per HH = 44.3

Average minutes spent reheating leftovers per HH = 7.1

Average HH generates leftovers from meals twice a week

 

44.3-7.1=37.2mins people can get back if they simply reheat their uneaten food and not cook from scratch.

Based on the same figure and the average meal leftovers per typical week which is 2 per HH, we can also say that people could save more than 70 minutes a week by simply reheating those meals.

 

70 mins x 52 weeks = 3,640 mins a year = 60.6 hours = 2.52 days

 

Notes to Editor

Everyday UK homes throw away approximately:

  • 20 million slices of bread (equivalent to one million loaves at 20 slices per loaf)
  • 4.4 million whole potatoes
  • 3.1 million glasses of milk
  • 2.7 million whole carrots
  • 2.2 million slices of ham
  • 1.2 million whole tomatoes
  • 920,000 whole bananas
  • 720,000 whole oranges
  • 800,000 whole apples
  • 970,000 whole onions
  • 86,000 whole lettuces

Top 10 most wasted food and drink items that could have been eaten:

  • Potato (fresh)
  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Meals (home-made and pre-prepared)
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juice and smoothies
  • Pork / ham / bacon
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Carrots (fresh)
  • Potato (processed)

Love Food Hate Waste (@lfhw_uk) aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help the UK public act. It shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit the environment, and our pockets too. Love Food Hate Waste is managed by WRAP.  

 

WRAP is a climate action NGO working around the globe to tackle the causes of the climate crisis and give the planet a sustainable future. Our vision is a thriving world in which climate change is no longer a problem. We believe that our natural resources should not be wasted and that everything we use should be re-used and recycled. We bring together and work with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. Our core purpose is to help tackle climate change and protect our planet by changing the way things are produced, consumed and disposed of.

 

Love Food Hate Waste experts are available for broadcast interviews, briefings and comment – contact:

Roop Pardesi, Account Director at Kindred Agency, [email protected], 07711229607

Polly Parkin, Account Manager at Kindred Agency, [email protected], 07961585130

Ian Palmer, Media Relations Manager at WRAP, [email protected] 07802 873 431 www.wrap.org.uk

Frances Armitage, Senior Media Relations Specialist at WRAP, [email protected] 07711 378300 www.wrap.org.uk